February 2, 2024
Each Friday, we compile South Florida food-related news and events that we couldn’t fit on the site earlier in the week, as well as other local news that piques our interest. Want to be included in our next roundup? Shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Mad Hatters Brunch at Isabelle’s
Due to popular demand, Isabelle’s at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami, is relaunching its Mad Hatters Brunch Series from Sunday, Feb. 4, to Sunday, May 26. The second edition, named ‘The Queen of Hearts,’ showcases a themed brunch menu and a special cocktail menu by Miami food influencer Gio Gutierrez (@chatchowtv), available every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Prepare to go mad during this limited-time dining experience that invigorates the senses. A perfect perch for brunch friends and Alice in Wonderland fans, Isabelle’s trellised outdoor garden terrace will act as a whimsical playground complete with festive tea party games, a DJ and themed decor. Decked with oversized planters, lush green landscaping, natural wood tables, and woven chairs with plush cushions, Isabelle’s outdoor oasis will allow diners to revel in a brunch like no other.
Gutierrez has collaborated with the team at Isabelle’s to create four special Mad Hatter ‘The Queen of Hearts’ cocktails ($20 each) to be offered during the remainder of the series: Wonderland Whimsy Refresher, Celebratory Airmail With A Story To Tell made with Havana Club AnŢejo Blanco, honey syrup, lime, bubbles; Red Queen Hibiscus Cosmopolitan, an updated twist on the classic Cosmopolitan made with UNA Vodka, Cointreau, cranberry, lime, hibiscus tea, glitter; Through The Looking Glass, a White Negroni like no other made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Bianco vermouth, Luxardo bitter, orange oils; and the Queen Of Hearts Tea Elixir, Teatime with a Punch made with Dewar’s 12 whisky, peach, coconut water, mint. Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s or Bellini’s ($39), are also available weekly during brunch.
Among the delectable specialties offered in addition to the a la carte brunch menu are the exquisite Strawberry & Champagne Pancakes ($21), strawberry champagne syrup and a touch of opulence with delicate gold leaf; and the Queen’s Royal Hash ($22), potato, onion, and leek hash topped with perfectly poached eggs and drizzled with a decadent three cheese sauce. Guests have the option to elevate this dish in Cheshire Cat Style with smoked salmon and Tobiko caviar; Mad Hatter Style, enhancing the hash with savory grilled kielbasa; or the Grow Me option, which includes exotic mixed mushrooms and truffle.
As no tea party is complete without a dessert spread, Isabelle’s invites those attending the whimsical spectacle to indulge in the sweetness of spring through Curious and Curiouser Carousel ($45), a spinning presentation of six exquisite desserts including Coconut Carmelia Mousse, Pistachio Cherry Mousse Dome, Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar, Vanilla Bean Rum Cake, Choco Raspberry Mousse, and Ube Cake with Tropical Fruit Curd and Coconut Ganache. A smaller Unbirthday Cake ($24) sampler with three sweet selections will also be available.
New Chef and Menu at Lona
Lona Cocina & Tequileria, celebrated Chef Pablo Salas’ beloved Mexican concept, has remained the gold-standard for eclectic, soulful Mexican cuisine and top-notch cocktails since opening its doors in 2018 on the buzzing A1A strip on Fort Lauderdale beach. Now, to kick off the arrival of 2024, Lona is turning up the heat with a sizzling dose of flavor as the restaurant welcomes new culinary talent and unveils a stellar lineup of new Mexican delights and libations.
Lona’s new menu items showcase the talents of recently appointed Chef de Cuisine Juan Carlos Peña, whose Mexican heritage and passion for the country’s vibrant cuisine and culture, inspired him to create dishes that highlight the region’s techniques and flavors.
Among the new temptations at Lona, are several appetizers including Hamachi Aguachile prepared with guajillo, cucumber, pico de gallo, avocado and cilantro and Nachos Guajillo topped with skirt steak, chipotle cheese sauce, beans, pickled red onion, cotija cheese, pickled Fresno, avocado mousse, cilantro and sour cream, as well as a new Baby Romaine Ensalada with charred poblano dressing, parmesan, spicy pepita and panko crunch.
Flavorful new entreés include Carnitas Tacos topped with pickled onion, salsa verde, cilantro and lime; Lona Steak & Frites featuring skirt steak prepared in guajillo garlic butter with a side of ancho dusted fries; Duck Carnitas in Pink Mole with mashed potato, sesame, almonds, frisée salad and chile de arbol vinaigrette; Enchiladas Poblanos made with chicken, house made mole, crema, sesame and cotija; and Shrimp & Crab Enchilada with creamy guajillo sauce, cotija and crema. Guests can also indulge in several new desserts including Crème Brûlée made with orange and dulce de leche and several house made Ice Cream flavors such as Chocolate de Metate, Mexican Vanilla, Mango Passion Sorbet and Dulce de Leche
Also on tap, a bevy of new innovative pours that further cement Lona’s well-earned reputation as an imbiber’s paradise. New additions include the alcohol-free Que Chingon – Seedlip 108 and watermelon-mango lemonade; La Patrona – Aviation Gin, grapefruit, ginger, lemon, basil and club soda; Guerita – Bacardi 4 Yr, Licor 43, lime, mango, pineapple, cranberry and Angostura bitters; Tesoro de Oro – Bulleit Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro and Disaronno Amaretto; and Rosa – Kettle One Grapefruit & Rose, Chinola, lime, orange bitters and ginger ale.
BOURBON Steak Celebrates 15 Years
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, BOURBON Steak, will celebrate its15th anniversary with an exceptional evening hosted by Mina Group chef/partners Michael Mina & Adam Sobel on Friday, February 23, 2024.
The one-night-only affair will allow guests an intimate dining experience at the beloved South Florida steakhouse. The nationally-renowned chefs have collaborated to develop a special menu highlighting the legacy of the concept. Priced at $350++ per person, the evening begins with a reception of canapes including tuna tartare, lobster corn dogs, and lamb meatballs. A four-course menu follows with a caviar parfait, bacon-wrapped diver scallops, peppercorn-crusted Australian Wagyu, and banana tarte tatin. Wine pairings accompany each course as well. Seating is limited and reservations can be made via Tock.